As we head into July, AllBadgers.com looks at a few potential key contributors on the Wisconsin football roster for next season.
During these discussions, we will hypothesize just exactly what a stellar, standard and subpar performance could be for each individual player. On Sunday, let's discuss Wisconsin's QB1 from 2019.
Last season, Jack Coan helped guide Wisconsin to a Big Ten West title and a 2020 Rose Bowl berth. He finished his junior campaign completing 69.6% of his passes for 2,727 yards with 18 touchdowns to just five interceptions. That yielded a 151.76 passing efficiency rating.
Coan ended the 2019 season ranked No. 7 in the FBS in completion percentage and No. 19 in passer efficiency. He also did just enough in the run game to keep teams honest, rushing for four touchdowns last year.
On top of that, the Sayville, N.Y., native emerged as one of the leaders of the football program and asserted himself as someone who could guide the offense to consistent success.
Next season, Coan will need to help lead the offense without notable key contributors in running back Jonathan Taylor, wide receiver Quintez Cephus and offensive lineman Tyler Biadasz. On top of that, it should be interesting to see just how the quarterback room shapes up with the development of Graham Mertz and Chase Wolf.
No Taylor, no Cephus, no problem? In this projected scenario, Wisconsin's offense continues to rack up yards on the field and points on the scoreboard. Coan is a key reason why, and he ends his time as a Badger in style.
Locking down the starting spot in dominant fashin, Coan again keeps the turnovers to a minimum, but he also emerges further in keeping defenses honest with connecting on deep passes downfield to his receivers. He improves his already-high completion percentage to near Scott Tolzien-2010 levels and spreads the ball around to his receivers, tight ends and backs.
In this hypothetical timeline, Jack Coan continues to do Jack Coan things with some improvement from 2019. Hovering around a similar completion percentage, he makes the right throws at the right time while tucking the ball and running it at the perfect spots to keep defenses guessing. His turnover tally continues to stay low as is expected.
The offense looks noticeably different without Taylor and Cephus at their respective skill positions and Biadasz on the line, but others step up in productive fashion. It may look as dynamic or flashy without Cephus and Taylor, but new Badgers provide some fireworks of their own.
Again with many of the discussions in this series, this scenario is more reflective of the unit as a whole. The offense does not mesh as well as it could in replacing key contributors from 2019, and production drops.
This theorized timeline perhaps also sees Wisconsin use multiple quarterbacks instead of just Coan himself.
Coan asserted himself firmly as Wisconsin's starter at quarterback in 2019, and just with his work ethic and leadership, I think he continues his trend as an extremely solid signal caller who can deliver on throws and get the offense into the end zone. He has the tools both on and off the field to lead the team to another Big Ten West title and compete for a New Year's Six bowl at the least.
It will definitely be worth watching how Mertz and Wolf look if/when practices start (and if they are open to the media, to be honest). However with his starting experience and capabilities under center, I think Coan is set up very well for his senior season.